Drones. These unmanned flying robots–some as large as jumbo jets, others as small as birds–do things straight out of science fiction. Much of what it takes to get these robotic airplanes to fly, sense, and kill has remained secret. But now, with rare access to drone engineers and those who fly them for the U.S. military, NOVA reveals the amazing technologies that make drones so powerful as we see how a remotely-piloted drone strike looks and feels from inside the command center. From cameras that can capture every detail of an entire city at a glance to swarming robots that can make decisions on their own to giant air frames that can stay aloft for days on end, drones are changing our relationship to war, surveillance, and each other. And it's just the beginning. Discover the cutting edge technologies that are propelling us toward a new chapter in aviation history as NOVA gets ready for "Rise of the Drones."
The progam can be watched here.
In a promo for NOVA, Jon Stewart interviewed one of the participants of "Rise of the Drones", Missy Cunningham (Aeronautics/Astronautics Prof @ MIT and one of the first female Navy F-18 pilots). The extended interview can be seen here .
The interview was mainly focused on military use of UAVs but among some of the things discussed was that she believes that FedEx and UPS would be using UAV's in 5 - 10 years. She also talked about a project she is working on for the Navy where a UAV rescue helicopter could be called in by cell phone (she mentions the UAV K-Max's that have dropped off over a million pounds of cargo in Afghanistan).